Building A House on the Corn Islands, Nicaragua is NOT Boring

So you’ve decided to build your own house. Congratulations, this will be the hardest part of your life; yet.

But deciding to build a house is also a very risky decision due to the numerous risks and challenges that lie ahead. Stress is something that will plague your mind for the duration of the process; and stress isn’t something that you easily cope with.

But with all that said, building a home in your image is also a very fulfilling experience. To make it pleasant and enjoyable, you will need the aiding help of an architect.

Architects are people that specialize in designing the house. And you’ll also need the helping hand of builders to actually build your dream home.

But we’re here to talk about the Corn Islands in Nicaragua. And we’re here to talk about the challenges that make the process a very interesting experience. So, to prove that this isn’t boring at all, let’s start immediately.

What Are the Corn Islands?

Described as Nicaragua’s Caribbean secret, the Corn Islands are two islands in the Caribbean sea and the perfect getaway destination. Nicaragua isn’t known for many things, but the Corn Islands are certainly the crown jewel of the South American country.

Both islands are perfect destinations for surfers, divers, and anyone else interested in paradise. Located just off the coast of Nicaragua, the Corn Islands are becoming a popular holiday destination for many tourists. Because of that, hotels and accommodations are built every single year.

But what you don’t get told about it is that building on the Corn Islands is extremely challenging. And we’ll get to that now.

Challenger of Building on Little Corn Island

Both islands are conveniently named Little and Big Corn Island. We’ll focus on the smaller of the two since the challenges are more difficult there. Why is that?

Well, the fact the entire surface of the island is a total of 1.5 miles certainly plays a hand. Big Corn Island is nearly three times bigger than Little Corn Island, but still small none the less.

So, you can imagine the challenges of having to build a house on an island the size of the Kentucky Derby. Truthfully speaking, this is more than enough to put off any person from building a house on Little Corn Island.

But since we aren’t like most people, we’ll go ahead and explain the rest of the challenges.

No Roads, Motorized Vehicles, Or Horses

Yes, you heard that right. While most island destinations do have roads for motorized vehicles, Little Corn Island has neither of those things. There aren’t even horses or donkeys to transport you from one side to the other on Little Corn Island.

This means that all building equipment has to be pushed on a cart by hand! Every house, villa, accommodation, and even hotel that’s been built on Little Corn Island was done by pushing carts full of equipment and building materials.

The house Alta Vista sits on top of the biggest hill on Little Corn Island and it took a very long time for the house to be built.

No Power Until 1 PM

Since a lot of equipment is electrically powered nowadays, another huge challenge is that the island doesn’t get any power until 1 PM. If you want anything done on Little Corn Island that involves electricity, then you’ll need to obtain a generator.

As you can imagine, this is a huge problem and an even bigger challenge when building a house on Little Corn Island.

No ATMs Or Banks On the Island

Building costs money, workers cost money and everything in between costs money!

But money isn’t an issue if you have it. The issue is that there is no place where to withdraw money. You see, there is only a single bank on both Corn Islands. And to make matters worse, it’s located on Big Corn Island.

Therefore, every time you need access to cash, you’ll need to catch a boat ride or a ferry to Big Corn Island, and then another on to get back. Both are located 8 miles apart, but natives say it feels like a world apart.

Catching a ferry from Little to Big Corn Island and back will most likely take the entire morning.

No Hardware Store

Little Corn Island lacks mostly everything that you’d need to build a house. The frustrating thing is that nothing guarantees that the other island has your building materials or equipment.

So, in most cases, you might have to order everything from the mainland. Considering the 50 miles of sea that’s standing in your way, it will cost you a pretty penny to transport it back.


This one serves as sort of a conclusion, but not really since the conclusion part is well worth the read. But this one captures everything we’ve been talking about in these few previous points.

Building a home is a very exciting moment for any person. But here on Little Corn Island, the excitement is substituted with frustration. With all that said, building a house here is anything but boring because of these reasons.

Since there are no roads, no cars, and no real way to transport anything, it will cost you very much to get everything needed from Point A to point B. Also, with no real way to transport anything, you’ll need to pay for the helping hand of the natives living there.

It might be expensive, but it’s well worth it once you overcome these challenges. For those looking for real estate, this site is your best option for the islands.


Now onto the part where we conclude. You can’t put a price tag to witness sheer beauty such as the Corn Islands. However, what you can put a price tag on is building a house there.

Things are very different on Big Corn Island as that one even has an airport. The roads are well-suited for vehicles, and cars are driving on the island.

But even Big Corn Island does have its limitations, so you’ll mostly have to catch a ferry from Little to Big Corn Island and then catch a plane to Managua to get all the supplies needed.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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